Prospective, randomized, controlled trial using best-selling smoking-cessation book | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Prospective, randomized, controlled trial using best-selling smoking-cessation book

| Reprints
July 18, 2017
by James P. Foshee, MD; Anita Oh, MD; Adam Luginbuhl, MD; Joseph Curry, MD; William Keane, MD; David Cognetti, MD


Our prospective, randomized, controlled trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy of the self-help book, The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, by Allen Carr, in promoting smoking cessation in patients with head and neck cancer. We assessed active smokers for their willingness to read a smoking cessation book. Participants were randomized to either receive the book from our department or recommended to purchase the book. All patients received smoking cessation counseling at recruitment. Phone surveys were conducted at short- and long-term intervals to determine if the patients had purchased and/or read the book and whether they were still smoking. One hundred twelve patients were recruited, 52 of whom completed follow-up surveys. Those who received the book for free were more likely to read the book (p = 0.05). Reading the book did not correlate with successful smoking cessation (p = 0.81). Some 26% of the 27 patients who received the book quit smoking compared with 32% of the 25 patients who were recommended the book (p = 0.76). Patients who indicated motivation to quit smoking were more likely to succeed. In our study, smoking cessation did not appear to be influenced by reading The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Despite 80.8% of the cohort indicating at least a readiness to quit smoking at recruitment, only 28.8% of patients managed to achieve successful smoking cessation at long-term follow-up. Patient motivation remains an important factor in achieving long-term smoking abstinence. Quitting smoking remains a daunting challenge for patients, with multiple interventions likely needed to achieve cessation.

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